I took a stroll down memory lane last night. I attended an Alumni event, a Chicano Latino Alumni event to be specific. I hadn't been to UCI since Arthur's graduation in 2005..
I can't believe how fast time has flown. I was shocked to be wearing a class of 97 badge..Me, really?.. I graduated that many years ago?
It was so good to see and hear the professors talk about how much has changed, how there is a whole department for CL studies and sadly how much has not changed.. Latinos are still a small percentage of the student body and amid the budget cuts higher ed is taking a beating..
I am such a nerd that I wish I could be a professional student and in so many ways I wish I had known what I was really doing in school. I was so lucky to be the first to go to college and yet at the same time I was also a deer in headlights. I was so worried about making the grades that I really did not make time for the social. I didnt get the college experience. As a result, I truly did not make any lasting friendships during those years. It's not that I didn't meet people, I met some awesome people. Even now certain songs remind me of my college days, classes, and certain friends..The memories are bittersweet. I am saddened that I didn't keep in touch..These were the days before email and the internet as we know it now..
College for me was an amazing opportunity to learn so much and grow into my own skin.. It truly was a moment in time when I was absorbing so much.. Even then I was a geek, I was facinated by research, I was in awe of professors.. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to be living on a University campus, to be learning. Unfortunately, the school was large and could be faceless.. On the rare occasion when I did have small classes I reveled in actually talking to a professor and the tidbits of insight into classmates.. So many people from all over and from different families and socioeconomic groups was also a huge factor in how foreign the expereince was. Hindsight is 20/20.. I wish I had kept up with those friendships. I wish I could remember all the names of the Class of 95 SAEP (Summer academic enrichment program). I rememer, Jen Cole, Rachel, Eddie, some of the professors, Cesar, James and Victor.. I remember how little we slept and how much we tried to learn in that 5 weeks.. I wish I could reconnect with some of my awesome dormmates, like Crazy Olga, Wendy L, Laura C. and Jesse G.. My roomie Virgie (everytime I see a Love is comic I think of her.. or if I hear Mana, I am instantly in our room).. I especially miss my couseling course peers (Amanda, Astrid, Tracy, Erica, etc) whom all shared and experienced some amazing times in Dr. Loxley's class. Lessons in psychology which to this day help me cope with people who frustrate me and remind myself that my choices are mine..
It was good to be at the school again.. It was amazing to share it with Arthur. It's another thing we have in common, UCI..